iLead Program Gives Glimpse of AISD

iLead Program Gives Community Glimpse of AISD Inner-Workings

September 16, 2015 – Started four years ago as a community partnerships initiative raising awareness for the requirements and challenges of Amarillo ISD, iLead is entering into a year of change, paving the way for more community members to experience the inner-workings of the district from a student’s perspective. The first iLead session of the school year was held this morning on a school bus, with community members taking part in a breakfast in the classroom style meal at Wills Elementary before touring campuses in each of the four feeder school clusters.

“It is important our community knows why we do what we do, and how we do it,” Program Director of Community Partnerships Denise Blanchard said. “Our intention with iLead is to show members of our community how we provide a top notch education for the children of Amarillo. This education is provided using the guidance of curriculum designed by the Texas Education Agency and our own educators, tools and resources available in our classrooms, and a combined effort of talented teachers, community members and students.”

Hosted at different school campuses each month, iLead takes community members into the libraries, cafeterias and learning spaces of schools they may not otherwise have the chance to visit. For many in the Amarillo community, families only have the opportunity to visit the schools they or their children attend.

“For me it was important to learn more about AISD because of my two boys. I take their education seriously, and did not feel as though I understood enough about how it all works,” James Shafer, iLead class of 2014-2015 said. “Our teachers and administrators do an amazing job of caring for our kids. Some of the challenges are much larger than expected. For example, some schools have 30-plus different languages spoken.”

iLead participants receive information from most departments within the school district and take away with them highlights to share with others as conversation allows. Shafer encourages all iLead alumni and future participants to come into the program with an attitude of learning.

“Not only do our iLead participants learn about our district, but we get to celebrate with them in all of the extraordinary small things happening each day on our campuses,” Superintendent Dr. Dana West said. “I encourage each of us, community members and district staff, to see things in new ways.”

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